The Sample: Edward Bess Quad Royale in Monte Carlo (Review, Swatches & Photos)

7 Apr

There are 2 different types of blushes: there’s the kind that makes people say “Wow, that blush looks fantastic on you!”–and then there’s the kind that makes people say “What are you doing differently? Your skin looks fabulous!”. Edward Bess’ Quad Royale in Monte Carlo falls in the latter category. These cheek palettes are meant to “sculpt and highlight the face”, using “four perfectly paired shades”.  I find that it definitely adds a certain je ne sais quoi to my complexion. They are not overbearing and will not be the star of the show in the sense that people will know you are wearing it–you’ll just look really, really pretty. And isn’t that what we all want?

*update: Case in point–after wearing this on my cheeks everyday for about a week, my boyfriend commented that I had been looking “especially pretty lately”. This product was the only thing I had added to my daily routine. Score!

By now, most of you have probably heard of Edward Bess. Edward Bess is a relatively small/niche luxury beauty brand that was, for a long time, only available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. The brand has since branched out to Sephora, leading me to finally giving in and trying the brand. The Quad Royale is my first Edward Bess purchase (but it probably won’t be my last). There are three palettes available: #01 South of France, #02 Monte Carlo, and #03 Summer in Capri. Of the 3, Monte Carlo is the warmest and most pigmented. The other 2 are probably more suited to highlighting (that’s not to say that they won’t work as blush for some), while Monte Carlo is pigmented enough to be used as a blusher–but still sheer and shimmery enough to be used as a highlighter.

 The Quad Royales come in a 4 1/2 inch long sleek black compact. This particular kind of packaging does attract fingerprints, so if you’re like me and can’t stand your makeup to look all manky and gross, this will drive you crazy (not that that’d ever stop me from actually buying it…). There is a button closure that you have to push in order to release the top of the compact. This button is pretty easy to push and release, so carrying this compact in your purse may not be the best idea–as it would only take a gentle nudge for a tragic accident to occur (both for your purse and the lovely product). The packaging is actually almost identical to Bobbi Brown’s eyeshadow palettes (think Ultra Nude Eyeshadow Palette)–except hers doesn’t have the button closure and feels a little thicker and more substantial than the Edward Bess packaging. Inside, the powder product sits on the left and a handy little brush on the right. The brush is not bad. It’s not the best brush I’ve ever gotten with a cheek product, but it definitely gets the job done (without scratching my face off)–especially on the go. And the size is perfect for applying color right along the cheekbones.

The powder is divided into 4 quadrants (hence the name Quad Royale). Going clockwise from top left, there’s a light peachy-champagne color, a pearly golden-peach, medium peachy-pink, and medium peachy-coral. All the variations of peach within this palette contain shimmer–though I almost hate to call it that because it is sooo superfine and subtle. The powder itself is very finely-milled and silky. It applies evenly and blends well–though it is so fine that I just pat it on with my blush brush and don’t even feel the need to blend it out at all. The powder is a bit hard and densely-packed (not in a bad way!), so there is not one bit of fallout in the pan when I swipe my brush across the powder.

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*Please note: each color has been heavily swatched to show the color–it is much more subtle when applied “normally”

There is a slight overspray on the colors–but once you remove it, the shades still have a shimmery-sheen to them. On the cheeks, the shimmer is nearly imperceptible. It creates more of lustrous finish–no noticeable, pore-enhancing shine whatsoever. I find that between the subtle luminosity and the sheer wash of warm peach, Monte Carlo imparts a fresh, radiant, healthy glow to my cheeks. This product is definitely for anyone that is scared of obvious-looking blushes or applies their blush with a heavy hand. There is almost no way to overdo it with this product. After applying, I am unable to discern where the color ends and my skin starts. This stuff is that good (or bad, if you’re a fan of super pigmented blushes).

The lovely shimmer in direct sunlight


This stuff is just frickin’  awesome and I am so happy that I got it! I am honestly enamored and have not been this in love with a product in a while. The color is admittedly quite sheer–but I knew that going in. Many reviewers on Sephora have lamented on the sheerness of the Quad Royales (especially South of France and Summer in Capri), but I think it’s a lovely product–as long as you are aware that this is a sheerer product before purchasing. Otherwise, I can see how one might be disappointed. Darker skintones may have some problems getting this product to show up color-wise–but on my light-medium skin tone, it works beautifully as a blush. It warms the skin and adds color while never looking garish or obvious. Do note though, that you can build the color up–just use a denser brush to pick up more product and layer it on.

I found that this product wore for about 6 hours on my bare skin before the color faded to just a slight hint of color. My cheeks, however, retained their newfound “healthy sheen” for well into the 8 hour mark (in other words, the was still a slight golden sheen to my skin). Definitely not bad for a powder product on my oily skin. I don’t think there’s much more I can say about this product…it’s just so lovely. I guess let me just summarize all this nonsense by saying this: this blush/highlighter is absolutely fantastic, it’ll make you look fresh and radiant, buy it. Because you may not realize this yet, but you need this. You’re welcome.

Pros: provides subtle highlight and color; won’t overpower any look; makes you look glowy and pretty; no fallout; finely-milled; comes with a large mirror and decent brush; shimmer is so refined, it doesn’t emphasize pores; long-wearing; extremely easy to blend; flatters both warm and cool tones; long-wearing for my oily skin and will no doubt last much longer on those with dry/normal/combination skin types; easy to layer on for a more vibrant pop of color

Cons: closure is easy to press and may come undone in a purse/bag; packaging attracts fingerprints like a mofo; packaging feels a tiny bit on the flimsier side to me; on the pricier side–but sooo worth it!! (to me, at least). Definitely an indulgence, though.

»»Pricing: $45/0.25 oz. (7 g.)

»»Availability: Sephora, Edward Bess, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus

»»Recommended for: ideally, this product will look best on those with lighter, warmer skin–just because it is so sheer and such a warm peach. As always, that is not to say it won’t flatter those with cooler skin tones. Those with darker skin may find that this product will work best as a subtle highlighter

»»Overall Rating: A


So what do you think–will you be checking it out or passing on this one? Be sure to let me know in the comments! And Happy Easter weekend!!

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  1. Highlight, Contour, and Add Color with One Perfect Product. Edward Bess Quad Royale Summer in Capri 03 – swatches & review | My Lucite Dreams - May 17, 2013

    [...] is described as a beige-pink. Also available is Monte Carlo 02, a golden coral (reviewed by and South of France 01, a shimmery sand and the lightest of the three (reviewed by [...]

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